In the hours after Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg died, Democrats opened up their pocketbooks. Money came in so fast and furiously that at one point in the evening ActBlue, the nonprofit organization that helps Democrats and left-leaning groups raise money online, was receiving more than $100,000 in donations per minute. Donors shattered the site’s records, donating $6.3 million in the 10 p.m. hour, which was the most the site has ever raised in any single hour. The previous record had been set an hour earlier, when donors gave $6.2 million. Before that, the previous one-hour record had been set on Aug. 20, when donors gave $4.3 million on the final night of the Democratic National Convention.
One of the big beneficiaries of the outpouring of cash was the group Get Mitch or Die Trying, which was created by Crooked Media to donate to 13 races that are seen as having the best chance of flipping the Senate. In the hour after Ginsburg’s death, the group reported more than $1.5 million in donations. Within three hours it had raised more than $3 million, and by early Saturday morning the number had shot up to almost $6 million.
The donations poured in as Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Friday night that the Senate will be holding a vote to confirm President Donald Trump’s nominee to replace Ginsburg on the Supreme Court. “President Trump’s nominee will receive a vote on the floor of the United States Senate,” he said in a statement Friday night. The move suddenly places a huge spotlight on the Senate less than two months before the November election and assures that an unprecedented battle will play out in the chamber of Congress for control of the Supreme Court as voters get ready to head to the polls. Sen. Ted Cruz said Friday that Trump should name his nominee as soon as next week. “We cannot have Election Day come and go with a 4–4 court … and I think we risk a constitutional crisis if we do not have a nine-justice Supreme Court, particularly when there is such a risk of a contested litigation and a contested election,” Cruz said on Fox News.
Support Slate's Coverage of the Supreme Court
Slate is covering the issues that matter to you. Support our work with a Slate Plus membership. You’ll also get a suite of great benefits.Join Slate Plus